Simple steps to stay warm this winter

Kiwis have been warned this winter's going to be one of the coldest in years. Here's how you can keep warm this winter without sparring too much effort.  

Meteorologist Georgina Griffiths told Newshub on Thursday we're entering a colder than normal winter with much of June looking to be the same. 

"It's been a little while since we've had a cool or anywhere average winter... the last time we had one was in 2015," Ms Griffiths said. 

With that in mind, Newshub found some simple ways to keep warm this winter without spending too much. 

Reduce moisture in your home

Nelson Lebo, an eco-design advisor from Palmerston North City Council told Newshub this month it's important to keep moisture out of you home to stay warm. You can do this by investing in a dehumidifier and leaving it on overnight, which shouldn't break the bank. Some dehumidifiers are selling on TradeMe for under $100. 

If you can afford it, adding insulation to your walls and ceilings is an effective way of keeping your home warm.  For an average three-bedroom house you could install insulation from $2,500 to $4,500 (ceiling and floor depending on grade), according to Homes that are energy efficient often fetch a higher price, the website says. 

Adding insulation to your walls and ceilings will keep your home warm.
Adding insulation to your walls and ceilings will keep your home warm. Photo credit: File

Cooking food keeps you warm

Cooking food can keep you warm in many ways, according to Life Hack. Cooking not only warms your home, but it gives you something warm to eat as well - "adding the calories from food, you're now warming yourself in three ways with one act," the website says. 

To prepare for a power outage, you can invest in a cheap camping stove that runs on kerosene. It's best to avoid using a charcoal stove indoors as it can fill your home with harsh chemicals, and try not to use a kerosene stove too often. Kerosene comes from petroleum and is used for burning in kerosene lamps and domestic heaters or furnaces, as a fuel or fuel component for jet engines. 

Cooking food warms you up in three ways.
Cooking food warms you up in three ways. Photo credit: Pixabay

Block freezing polar winds

Winter drafts coming from the South Pole influence temperatures in New Zealand. In July last year, the South Island faced what was described as the "most significant snowstorm in recent years" as a polar blast came up from the south. In 1997, temperatures in Antarctica plummeted to as low as -97C. 

To avoid the effects of these polar blasts, you need to make sure your doors and windows are sealed. Curtains play an important role in homes to block any drafts coming in. Life Hack advises a two-curtain setup, with a "liner to block the draft while allowing sunlight to warm the house, and a blackout-solar curtain to block out the elements and sound." 

Curtains help to block cold drafts coming into your home.
Curtains help to block cold drafts coming into your home. Photo credit: Pixabay

Clothing tips to keep warm

Your head covers a relatively large surface area and is often left most exposed, so be sure to wear a hat when you're walking around in the cold weather. 

Wool is an effective material to keep you warm, because unlike other natural materials, wool retains heat even when wet. This is because wool is made up of a complex web of fibres. Down is a natural material that offers the best insulation, but it doesn't cope as well as wool when wet. 

Wearing wind-proof jackets is important in a windy country like New Zealand to protect you from the elements. Wearing at least three different layers of clothing is said to be more effective at keeping you warm than one thick layer, some experts say. You can also tuck your trousers into your socks to avoid cold air working its way up your legs.

Wearing wind-proof jackets will protect you from the elements in New Zealand.
Wearing wind-proof jackets will protect you from the elements in New Zealand. Photo credit: File

Another tip to keep warm is to avoid sitting on a cold bench or any surface that's frosted or wet. This is because you start losing heat via a process called conduction, according to a report by BT. This process involves heat transferring between a warm solid (you) and a cold solid (the cold bench or ground).  

It's not always easy staying warm in winter, especially if your pockets are tight. But if you assess your situation and identify when and how the cold weather is affecting you the most, you can keep warm with a bit of resourcefulness and little effort.